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Expectations are a tricky thing and I can't help but feel they've done a great disservice to "the Escape of Prisoner 614." Given that the Vudu summary describes it as "action filled" (it isn't), implies that Ron Pearlman is the main character, (he isn't) and that he's a cold-blooded sheriff on the hunt for an escaped convict (there IS an escaped convict but he's not particularly cold blooded nor is he doing the hunting). The cover art also depicts an angry, pistol welding Perlman on the cover. This creates the image of a gritty, neo-western in the vein of No Country for Old Men.

Instead, it's a neo-western comedy about a pair of bumbling deputies, one of whom is played by the great Martin Starr, as they try to capture an escaped, but innocent man. It does evoke Coen Brothers but it owes far more to Raising Arizona and O' Brother. It's a simple, quaint and charming film that's a rather perfect lazy afternoon watch. It doesn't aim high and is clearly lower budget, but it's charming script and cast keep it very watchable at all times.


Sat Jul 07, 2018 12:10 pm
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:
implies that Ron Pearlman is the main character, (he isn't)

The cover art also depicts an angry, pistol welding Perlman on the cover.

It's a simple, quaint and charming film that's a rather perfect lazy afternoon watch. It doesn't aim high and is clearly lower budget, but it's charming script and cast keep it very watchable at all times.


Misleading plot summaries and cover art are such a pain. Even when the movie is okay (as it sounds like this one is), it's such a frustrating experience to feel like you've been played by the marketing that it just creates bad faith.


Sat Jul 07, 2018 12:23 pm
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DaMU wrote:
Depending on the age of your nephew at the time, I would understand. It has everything a recent-teen could want: gore, boobs, smashy smashy space booms.
He was in his early teens I think. I was gobsmacked by what he said of course but I didn't hold it against him.


Sat Jul 07, 2018 12:54 pm
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boojiboyhowdy wrote:
He was in his early teens I think. I was gobsmacked by what he said of course but I didn't hold it against him.
Though he probably would have preferred to hold it against Dina Meyer.

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Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:01 pm
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BL wrote:
Though he probably would have preferred to hold it against Dina Meyer.
Oh yeah, he was definitely paying attention during her shower scene. Yet another movie where the clueless hero is totally oblivious to the fact that the one who actually wants to be with him is way hotter than his love interest.


Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:10 pm
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boojiboyhowdy wrote:
Oh yeah, he was definitely paying attention during her shower scene. Yet another movie where the clueless hero is totally oblivious to the fact that the one who actually wants to be with him is way hotter than his love interest.
But, to the movie's credit, I think it makes very clear that the ultimate coupling is supposed to be hollow and unsatisfying.

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Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:23 pm
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BL wrote:
But, to the movie's credit, I think it makes very clear that the ultimate coupling is supposed to be hollow and unsatisfying.
But I never saw Dizzy's feelings for Johnny as groupie-ish or compulsive. I think she genuinely loved him. And let's face it, casting Denise Richards as the acme didn't exactly help sell the concept.


Sun Jul 08, 2018 3:50 am
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BL wrote:
But, to the movie's credit, I think it makes very clear that the ultimate coupling is supposed to be hollow and unsatisfying.


I struggle to think of a more climactic anti-climax. "Hey, while you were doing all that big shit, the other characters were actually saving the day. And even that doesn't matter because the war is a crock! Celebrate the indoctrination!"


Sun Jul 08, 2018 3:52 am
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boojiboyhowdy wrote:
But I never saw Dizzy's feelings for Johnny as groupie-ish or compulsive. I think she genuinely loved him. And let's face it, casting Denise Richards as the acme didn't exactly help sell the concept.

That's what he's saying, bruh.


Sun Jul 08, 2018 3:55 am
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Wait, what? I need to watch ST again. I thought Rico and Carmen never actually slept together. I took BL's response to mean Johnny and Dizzy.


Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:00 am
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The Counselor Director's Cut, 2013, 2nd watch (A+)

I love it a lot more than last time. The impression of it being disjointed or having something missing is completely gone. I think what helped it is something I read back on the RT forum, probably in another thread about this movie, about the way Mccarthy uses Mexico and/or the cartel as some sort of metaphor for hell. That thought, misremembered or not, helps tie the philosophical musings together with the seemingly unrelated and very grounded idea of the cartels and helps explain why we get next to no details on the deal itself. It's also interesting to notice that just about everyone uninvolved or somewhat removed from the criminal world responds to any contact or information on it by saying "Jesus."

While there is definitely a lot to get from this movie, however, I'm not sure I understand the meaning behind it all. I don't know what point this is trying to get across because I'm just not familiar with the author beyond this movie. I'll re-watch it in a few months to see if I can get more out of it.


Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:14 am
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boojiboyhowdy wrote:
Wait, what? I need to watch ST again. I thought Rico and Carmen never actually slept together. I took BL's response to mean Johnny and Dizzy.

He’s referring to how both Rico and Carmen found different people that were right for them and lost them in the war. So sure they’re back together but it’s hollow in comparison to what they’ve lost. Pyrrhic victories and empty rewards are frequently employed throughout the film. Take “the infantry made me the man I am today “ scene or when Ironside has them celebrate with volleyball and violins after a victory leading into a slaughter. There’s a pointlessness in everything they do that makes the satire so wonderfully biting.


Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:40 am
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Charles wrote:
The Counselor Director's Cut, 2013, 2nd watch (A+)

I love it a lot more than last time. The impression of it being disjointed or having something missing is completely gone. I think what helped it is something I read back on the RT forum, probably in another thread about this movie, about the way Mccarthy uses Mexico and/or the cartel as some sort of metaphor for hell. That thought, misremembered or not, helps tie the philosophical musings together with the seemingly unrelated and very grounded idea of the cartels and helps explain why we get next to no details on the deal itself. It's also interesting to notice that just about everyone uninvolved or somewhat removed from the criminal world responds to any contact or information on it by saying "Jesus."

While there is definitely a lot to get from this movie, however, I'm not sure I understand the meaning behind it all. I don't know what point this is trying to get across because I'm just not familiar with the author beyond this movie. I'll re-watch it in a few months to see if I can get more out of it.

You haven’t seen No Country for Old Men or the Road? McCarthy has a penchant for existential dread and human manifestations of the world’s chaos. The Border trilogy is mandatory reading.


Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:42 am
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DaMU wrote:

Depending on the age of your nephew at the time, I would understand. It has everything a recent-teen could want: gore, boobs, smashy smashy space booms.
I'm still embarrassed at roughly 10 year-old me thinking it was a good idea to be watching that movie during the scene where a guy gets his brains sucked out by the big bug at my Grandma's house on one of her pay-per-view channels... with her in the room.

:-/

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Sun Jul 08, 2018 11:14 am
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:
You haven’t seen No Country for Old Men or the Road? McCarthy has a penchant for existential dread and human manifestations of the world’s chaos. The Border trilogy is mandatory reading.


I did actually see No country. Didn't know it was him. I'm not sure if I want to watch The Road though, post apocalypse isn't much of my thing. I'll take a look at the books, however.


Sun Jul 08, 2018 11:27 am
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boojiboyhowdy wrote:
Wait, what? I need to watch ST again. I thought Rico and Carmen never actually slept together. I took BL's response to mean Johnny and Dizzy.
MKS picked up on most of this, but by 'ultimate coupling," I mean the way the movie forces Rico and Carmen back together in the end. As an audience, we figure out very early on that this is a forced pairing. Then the movie establishes and thwarts the more naturalistic pairing with Dizzy, only to reintroduce the pairing with Carmen, who herself has gone through a similar tragedy. It takes the idea of star-crossed or destined lovers and subverts it into something really tragic and disappointing rather than romantic, even while Verhoeven on the surface is signaling that everything is gung-ho and perfect.

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Sun Jul 08, 2018 11:39 am
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Princess of Mars was enjoyable enough junk. I mean, it's an Asylum film. It was full of many, many writerly cliches, featuring such classics as "You'll thank me later!" and "Here we go again!".


Sun Jul 08, 2018 12:01 pm
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Ant-Man and the Wasp
I don't know what I'd rate it but my reaction was that it is instantly the weakest of Marvel's 20 films. Well, maybe Iron-Man 3 is still the worst, because it's like actively bad, whereas this is just passively poor and weak. I'm genuinely surprised Feige and Marvel let this one get out of their stable like this. Not even sure what the point of having this movie was other than to introduce the Wasp to the MCU and magnify the existence of the Quantum Realm to audiences for Avengers 4. Otherwise, there really isn't anything going on in this movie. The main antagonist could be interesting but isn't given enough screen-time, dramatic moments, or arc to make one care. The same is true for another major character introduced who could have been very interesting but ends up being kind of a throwaway. And the way the climactic moment of the film is handled is just poor, just really weak filmmaking from script to screen.
Oddly, the humor in this one falls pretty flat too. And every line that isn't a joke is exposition. It's kind of painful to watch the likes of Douglas, Pfeiffer, and Fishburne just recite uninspired and uninspiring lines that do nothing but tiredly sweep the plot along. Waste of a lot of talent here.
Kind of a bummer. I had come to believe that Marvel couldn't actually make a bad movie anymore (regardless of whether you think the make good ones) but they did it. This breaks their streak for me and gives me some pause and worry for the MCU after Avengers 4.


Sun Jul 08, 2018 12:25 pm
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A Quiet Place B-

Well directed if not worthy of all the attention it got. Some people didn't like the ending. I thought it was great.


Sun Jul 08, 2018 12:35 pm
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Charles wrote:

I did actually see No country. Didn't know it was him. I'm not sure if I want to watch The Road though, post apocalypse isn't much of my thing. I'll take a look at the books, however.



What particular reasons do you tend to dislike post-apocalyptic films?

Blood Meridian is his best work but I feel it works best when you get to know his works. It’s a dense read. The Border trilogy is of comparable quality but are much breezier. Hope you dig them.


Sun Jul 08, 2018 1:27 pm
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:
He’s referring to how both Rico and Carmen found different people that were right for them and lost them in the war. So sure they’re back together but it’s hollow in comparison to what they’ve lost. Pyrrhic victories and empty rewards are frequently employed throughout the film. Take “the infantry made me the man I am today “ scene or when Ironside has them celebrate with volleyball and violins after a victory leading into a slaughter. There’s a pointlessness in everything they do that makes the satire so wonderfully biting.

BL wrote:
MKS picked up on most of this, but by 'ultimate coupling," I mean the way the movie forces Rico and Carmen back together in the end. As an audience, we figure out very early on that this is a forced pairing. Then the movie establishes and thwarts the more naturalistic pairing with Dizzy, only to reintroduce the pairing with Carmen, who herself has gone through a similar tragedy. It takes the idea of star-crossed or destined lovers and subverts it into something really tragic and disappointing rather than romantic, even while Verhoeven on the surface is signaling that everything is gung-ho and perfect.

Damn. I'm just gonna have you guys explain other movies to me that I thought were shitty or vapid. There was one titled Too Late that I couldn't even make it through. It's another John-Hawkes-plays-a-hard-drinking-private-eye movie. But unlike something like Small Town Crime (which I ultimately enjoyed) this was labored and badly written and self-conscious about it's artistic pretensions. It not only wastes the talents of Hawkes but also his Small Town Crime costar Robert Forster and comes off so amateurish that you're left wondering what they're doing in it. But then it also has a somewhat respectable 72% Tomatometer rating.


Sun Jul 08, 2018 2:21 pm
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Sicario

Well, I finally got around to it and I was not disappointed. It was more or less exactly what I thought it would be. Zero Dark Thirty with drug-lords instead of terror-lords.
And, really, I mean that as a compliment.
Also, like ZDT, it is upheld by a strong voice in the director's chair, a clear and well-executed vision from Deakins (is it basically cheating to get Deakins as your DP?), and rock-solid, if not elevated performances all around. From Blunt, to Kaluuya, to Brolin, to Del Toro, and even the smaller performances like Maximiliano Hernandez as Silvio and Jon Bernthal as Ted, the acting is as credible (and I mean credible, like you believe these people are the characters they are playing) as one could hope for in a good film, really almost transcendent of a movie that has a powerful message but doesn't particularly amount to a whole lot. I guess if I have any complaint it is that, that it didn't feel like it had that much impact or that the arc of the real main character of the film (Del Toro's Alejandro) is downplayed perhaps a bit too much. Still, he's so damn good at it that he brings the gravitas that perhaps Villeneuve didn't quite match.
I would add that I had no idea this was Villeneuve's film or I would have seen it sooner. So far, I'm pretty impressed with his work. It's not like he's ever gonna be a Kubrick or Kieslowski or anything, but he's clearly a good person to have in that chair.


Sun Jul 08, 2018 2:48 pm
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boojiboyhowdy wrote:

Damn. I'm just gonna have you guys explain other movies to me that I thought were shitty or vapid. There was one titled Too Late that I couldn't even make it through. It's another John-Hawkes-plays-a-hard-drinking-private-eye movie. But unlike something like Small Town Crime (which I ultimately enjoyed) this was labored and badly written and self-conscious about it's artistic pretensions. It not only wastes the talents of Hawkes but also his Small Town Crime costar Robert Forster and comes off so amateurish that you're left wondering what they're doing in it. But then it also has a somewhat respectable 72% Tomatometer rating.


Can’t help you with that one. I think Tarantino homages don’t work because he’s already an homage and whenever he evokes DePalma or Leone, he’s occasionally twice diluted before you start. When you reference him, as this film does in tone, dialogue, structure and even font, It’s the creative equivalent of a 5th generation VHS dupe.

I respect the film for the 35mm long take cinematography and the performances, but it’s too little and... Too Late. Sorry, let my Ben Lyons show.


Mon Jul 09, 2018 2:06 am
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Honestly, is criticism just dead?
I checked the RT score on Ant-Man and the Wasp and it is 86%.
The movie is shit. And I am the target audience. I love these movies. This one's just shit. It has a shit script and they don't do a thing to save it. I was rolling my eyes through half the movie, not at a dude turning small or big or whatever, but at the terrible, terrible script and just how shabby of a movie it was. Yet, somehow 86%.
And I am not saying this film is some unique example, it's just the latest in a long, long line of absurdly permissive and apologetic criticism that leads to an inflation of poor films and, consequently, a lowering of expectations as to what a good film is. I'm not sure I even understand the point of having it anymore.


Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:57 am
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Wooley wrote:
Honestly, is criticism just dead?
I checked the RT score on Ant-Man and the Wasp and it is 86%.
The movie is shit. And I am the target audience. I love these movies. This one's just shit. It has a shit script and they don't do a thing to save it. I was rolling my eyes through half the movie, not at a dude turning small or big or whatever, but at the terrible, terrible script and just how shabby of a movie it was. Yet, somehow 86%.
And I am not saying this film is some unique example, it's just the latest in a long, long line of absurdly permissive and apologetic criticism that leads to an inflation of poor films and, consequently, a lowering of expectations as to what a good film is. I'm not sure I even understand the point of having it anymore.

I liked it and found it to be an improvement on the first, if only marginally so.


Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:02 am
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It's time to put Wooley down....for his nap. I think he's getting cranky. :P


Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:07 am
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Ace wrote:
It's time to put Wooley down....for his nap. I think he's getting cranky. :P

It's true, I am.
This movie really pissed me off.
Still, the Sicario movies weren't bad (I've done 3 movies in the last 20 hours).


Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:14 am
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:
I liked it and found it to be an improvement on the first, if only marginally so.

We are of different minds here, obviously. I really liked the first one, I thought this one was downright unacceptable.


Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:15 am
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Wooley wrote:
We are of different minds here, obviously. I really liked the first one, I thought this one was downright unacceptable.


I appreciated the intimate scale and scope. I liked the motivation for the villains, even if they occasionally fell into cliched speech. I thought it was refreshingly upbeat and slight compared to the epic and dark Infinity War.


Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:25 am
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:


What particular reasons do you tend to dislike post-apocalyptic films?


I'm not sure. I think there's just something about the overwhelming bleakness of the world and the people in it that I find less stimulating or interesting than pre/in-media-res apocalyptic movies, like Children of Men or The Mist.

Saltwater (Atomic shark? Imdb lists it as both) 2016, (B)

This is a good bad shark movie. It has a good, original shark that, while it provides good kills and all, makes 50's sci-fi seem disciplined and rigorous in what it justifies using the words radiation and nuclear. There's a lot of douche-bro-iness in the first half but it gets better. There's good comedy, which is pretty much all intentional, surprisingly enough. It does feel a bit long and bloated and the drama just sucks, but that's a given for a prefix-shark movie.


Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:27 am
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Wooley wrote:
Honestly, is criticism just dead?
I checked the RT score on Ant-Man and the Wasp and it is 86%.
The movie is shit. And I am the target audience. I love these movies. This one's just shit. It has a shit script and they don't do a thing to save it. I was rolling my eyes through half the movie, not at a dude turning small or big or whatever, but at the terrible, terrible script and just how shabby of a movie it was. Yet, somehow 86%.
And I am not saying this film is some unique example, it's just the latest in a long, long line of absurdly permissive and apologetic criticism that leads to an inflation of poor films and, consequently, a lowering of expectations as to what a good film is. I'm not sure I even understand the point of having it anymore.


I'm not sure if it's dead, but I'm not sure it's ever been very useful either. I usually read critics when I love a movie that got a terrible score or vice-versa. I also only see the tomatometer as useful when it's above 95 or below, like, 30.

Keeping in mind, the tomatometer for antman is a weak 86% with an average of only 6.9.


Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:31 am
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Charles wrote:

I'm not sure. I think there's just something about the overwhelming bleakness of the world and the people in it that I find less stimulating or interesting than pre/in-media-res apocalyptic movies, like Children of Men or The Mist.

Saltwater (Atomic shark? Imdb lists it as both) 2016, (B)

This is a good bad shark movie. It has a good, original shark that, while it provides good kills and all, makes 50's sci-fi seem disciplined and rigorous in what it justifies using the words radiation and nuclear. There's a lot of douche-bro-iness in the first half but it gets better. There's good comedy, which is pretty much all intentional, surprisingly enough. It does feel a bit long and bloated and the drama just sucks, but that's a given for a prefix-shark movie.


Overwhelming bleakness is a frequent descriptor of the Road but I’ve always disagreed with that. The depiction of the world is certainly that, but at its core, the film is about love and goodness between father and son and certainly has more optimism in it than anything else I’ve seen/read from McCarthy. It’s ironic that it’s in his end of the world tale that he finds the most tenderness. On that note, it’s a comparable work to Children of Men more than most others in the genre.


Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:08 am
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:

I appreciated the intimate scale and scope. I liked the motivation for the villains, even if they occasionally fell into cliched speech. I thought it was refreshingly upbeat and slight compared to the epic and dark Infinity War.

That's what I liked about the first one.


Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:34 am
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Charles wrote:
86% with an average of only 6.9.

This. I pay more attention to the average rating, rather than the percentage score... for context Upgrade is 85% but with an average of 7.1

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Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:32 am
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Wooley wrote:
That's what I liked about the first one.


I didn’t like that the villain in the first one was yet another evil power-doppelgänger and that his plan would result in essentially world domination.

This was just....

survival. She wasn’t evil. Her powers were different and well implemented. The lack of “evilness” was very much appreciated and I thought that Goggins was great as a secondary villain. I just wish he had been Justin Hammer’s cousin or something.


Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:34 pm
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Nighthawks (1981) - 5/10. This is a passable crime thriller about two New York cops (Sly Stallone and Billy Dee Williams) playing a cat and mouse game with a German terrorist (Rutger Hauer in his American film debut). When it was over, I felt I had watched a French Connection wannabe, and to my surprise, it was originally planned as the third movie in the series, but the filmmakers rewrote it after Gene Hackman passed on it. While The French Connection reinvigorated its genre, this movie doesn't do anything you haven't seen before with it. As a result, it's predictable to a fault, so much so that my involvement was on life support when the third act started. The movie also gets demerits for wasting the charisma and talent of Billy Dee Williams, Persis Khambatta and Lindsay Wagner. Thankfully, Hauer's villain, Nigel Davenport's terrorism expert, Keith Emerson's score and a tense scene at a nightclub save this movie from being completely forgettable.

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Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:41 pm
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The RT percent is bullshit and doesn't matter. The average critical rating is a little better. Metacritic is a little better still but still lacking.

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Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:46 pm
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:

Overwhelming bleakness is a frequent descriptor of the Road but I’ve always disagreed with that. The depiction of the world is certainly that, but at its core, the film is about love and goodness between father and son and certainly has more optimism in it than anything else I’ve seen/read from McCarthy. It’s ironic that it’s in his end of the world tale that he finds the most tenderness. On that note, it’s a comparable work to Children of Men more than most others in the genre.
Have you read Suttree? If not, I highly recommend it. I'd say it's his second-best book after Blood Meridian, and probably his most humanistic. It's almost like he had to write something forgiving of humanity's petty foibles before writing something as damning of its sins as Blood Meridian.

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Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:02 am
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BL wrote:
Have you read Suttree? If not, I highly recommend it. I'd say it's his second-best book after Blood Meridian, and probably his most humanistic. It's almost like he had to write something forgiving of humanity's petty foibles before writing something as damning of its sins as Blood Meridian.


I have not. My goal is to eventually read all of his books. I was planning on Child of God next but I'll bump this one up in my reading list and pick up a copy to look at and feel guilty because I keep watching movies instead of reading. Tangentially related, I've got a copy of Neuromancer in the mail. I'm hoping that gets me reading like I used to. I'm working on a sci-fi script and it just feels wrong having not read it and doing so at this point.


Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:11 am
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Torgo wrote:
Nighthawks (1981) - 5/10. This is a passable crime thriller about two New York cops (Sly Stallone and Billy Dee Williams) playing a cat and mouse game with a German terrorist (Rutger Hauer in his American film debut). When it was over, I felt I had watched a French Connection wannabe, and to my surprise, it was originally planned as the third movie in the series, but the filmmakers rewrote it after Gene Hackman passed on it. While The French Connection reinvigorated its genre, this movie doesn't do anything you haven't seen before with it. As a result, it's predictable to a fault, so much so that my involvement was on life support when the third act started. The movie also gets demerits for wasting the charisma and talent of Billy Dee Williams, Persis Khambatta and Lindsay Wagner. Thankfully, Hauer's villain, Nigel Davenport's terrorism expert, Keith Emerson's score and a tense scene at a nightclub save this movie from being completely forgettable.

I like this movie a lot, but I will admit some of that may be nostalgia, the fact that I saw it when I was very young and it was one of the earlier R-rated movies I saw, it's appearance in Terror In The Aisles, and Rutger Hauer's debut English-language film performance.
I wonder, though, if a person whose subsequent credits feature Megaforce and Warrior Of The Lost World can ever really be considered "wasted" in a film (Khambatta).


Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:33 am
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:

I have not. My goal is to eventually read all of his books. I was planning on Child of God next but I'll bump this one up in my reading list and pick up a copy to look at and feel guilty because I keep watching movies instead of reading.
I just a couple years ago made it a project to read or re-read all of McCarthy's stuff in order. It's pretty remarkable how fully formed his particular style was right from the get-go. The Southern Gothic bleakness, biblical allusions and eccentric punctuation are all present as early as The Orchard Keeper, but I think it's pretty clear that his first three novels in retrospect were a run-up to Suttree and Blood Meridian, which are both two very different but much more ambitious and dense books. While all the early books take place in rural Appalachia, Suttree feels like a definitive statement on life in that region, and it literally ends (spoiler alert) with the semi-autobiographical main character deciding to leave the area. It just reads like the book McCarthy was trying to write with the first three, packing in every odd bit of local color and lore into one text instead of spinning them off into separate tales. I don't think it's coincidental that McCarthy decided to turn his attention to the West after Suttree; having gotten down his every Faulknerian strain of thought into one book, he literally had to move out of Faulkner's territory to start anew.

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Tangentially related, I've got a copy of Neuromancer in the mail. I'm hoping that gets me reading like I used to. I'm working on a sci-fi script and it just feels wrong having not read it and doing so at this point.
Neuromancer is great but, due to time and influence, it's one of those books that you'll need to consciously consider as an object from 1984 to appreciate. Its themes and ideas are now so pervasive in sci-fi, and cyberpunk in particular, that they might almost appear banal today.

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Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:20 am
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Wooley wrote:
I wonder, though, if a person whose subsequent credits feature Megaforce and Warrior Of The Lost World can ever really be considered "wasted" in a film (Khambatta).
That's too bad that her acting career wasn't better because she's really good in Star Trek: The Motion Picture and in what little they gave her to do in this movie.

I see she was also in something called Phoenix the Warrior, aka She-Wolves of the Wasteland. I'm intrigued and a bit aroused:

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Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:37 am
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Torgo wrote:
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*spoiler* none of these women appear in this motion picture.


Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:09 am
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Sicario 2: Day of the Soldado - 8.5/10

A great crime thriller, and a worthy addition to what could be called the "modern western", complete with desert, guns, moral ambiguity and Benicio del Toro Angel-Eyezing it up to eleven. The film doesn't quite have the visual command of Villenueve's original, but to compensate, the script is quite a bit better.


Pray to God and Dig Your Grave - 8/10

This is a crude film. The Prime copy includes the tell-tale rainbows of a cheap VHS dupe right at the beginning. But despite such superficial crudity, the film is not poorly made, being well-shot, well-acted and with one of the few Spagetti Westerns that does not require a white, or even a "blonde", interlocutor, instead relying entirely on Mexican characters involved in the Mexican Civil War, and illustrating the social strife of that event from their perspective. This film shouldn't get lost in the din of seemingly anonomous Spagetti Westerns available on Prime at the moment.


Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:25 am
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Justice League - 6.5/10 - I was actually looking forward to rewatching this but it appears to have diminished somewhat since my initial viewing. It still carries the burden of an inexplicably CGI'd villain with a ludicrous backstory but the parts that I felt mitigated this weren't so evident on this second go round. It's still not as bad as so many made it out to be but it did seem to slump into more average territory.

EDIT: And I'm not sure why I didn't notice this the first time but Steppenwolf actually name drops "Darkseid" which just muddied the waters even more. What exactly were they going for there?


Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:39 am
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boojiboyhowdy wrote:
EDIT: And I'm not sure why I didn't notice this the first time but Steppenwolf actually name drops "Darkseid" which just muddied the waters even more. What exactly were they going for there?
I suspect one of two things occurred: Either DC really thought at some point early in their cinematic universe-building process that they would get Darkseid on screen before Marvel trotted out Thanos (who, in the comics, is legitimately a complete, unabashed ripoff of Darkseid), and Justice League is evidence of how far behind schedule they fell. OR they knew they were beaten in timing and just threw the Darkseid reference in with the hope that Internet nerds would hype Darkseid up over Thanos. Either way, they done fucked up.

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Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:55 am
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:
I've got a copy of Neuromancer in the mail. I'm hoping that gets me reading like I used to. I'm working on a sci-fi script and it just feels wrong having not read it and doing so at this point.


Oh, man. I haven't read Neuromancer in many, many years. I got it as a gift when I was a teenager.

Have you read Scalzi's Old Man's War?

I haven't read any sci-fi in about a year. I think the last one I read was Lord of All Things which was well-written but so bleak.

You want to tell any more about your script? I totally understand if no.


Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:36 am
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Wooley wrote:
Sicario

From Blunt, to Kaluuya, to Brolin, to Del Toro, and even the smaller performances like Maximiliano Hernandez as Silvio and Jon Bernthal as Ted, the acting is as credible (and I mean credible, like you believe these people are the characters they are playing) as one could hope for in a good film, really almost transcendent of a movie that has a powerful message but doesn't particularly amount to a whole lot.
That was one of my biggest issues with Sicario, the fact that it doesn't amount to much on the whole...
...oh, so Josh Brolin's character is working with one cartel against another, and basically giving up on the War On Drugs? I've seen this particular plot twist done before, and it didn't add much to this film in context. So del Toro is involved with the operation to get revenge against the drug lord who had his family murdered, and does so quite easily? Again, nothing particularly surprising or engaging going on on that front either.
The entire wrap-up of the 3rd act of that film was just so disappointingly straightforward, and besides the extradition sequence in Juárez, it also didn't have much tension in general, or a much to distinguish itself from any other random War On Drugs Thriller out there on the market, and that isn't even getting into how the problematic the constant emasculation of Emily Blunt by the men of the film was; between this and how the treatment of Elizabeth Olsen in Wind River (which was a good movie otherwise) contrasted with the constant alpha male unstoppableness of Jeremy Renner, I'm starting to think Taylor Sheridan has some "issues" with women, y'know?

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Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:19 am
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BL wrote:
I just a couple years ago made it a project to read or re-read all of McCarthy's stuff in order. It's pretty remarkable how fully formed his particular style was right from the get-go. The Southern Gothic bleakness, biblical allusions and eccentric punctuation are all present as early as The Orchard Keeper, but I think it's pretty clear that his first three novels in retrospect were a run-up to Suttree and Blood Meridian, which are both two very different but much more ambitious and dense books. While all the early books take place in rural Appalachia, Suttree feels like a definitive statement on life in that region, and it literally ends (spoiler alert) with the semi-autobiographical main character deciding to leave the area. It just reads like the book McCarthy was trying to write with the first three, packing in every odd bit of local color and lore into one text instead of spinning them off into separate tales. I don't think it's coincidental that McCarthy decided to turn his attention to the West after Suttree; having gotten down his every Faulknerian strain of thought into one book, he literally had to move out of Faulkner's territory to start anew.

Neuromancer is great but, due to time and influence, it's one of those books that you'll need to consciously consider as an object from 1984 to appreciate. Its themes and ideas are now so pervasive in sci-fi, and cyberpunk in particular, that they might almost appear banal today.


I figured as much. I read the first 10 pages today immediately after taking it out of the package and it already feels familiar (in a positive way) and drops the cyberspace name of "the Matrix" in a way that makes that film feel particular audacious in it's "homage." Even within these 10 pages, I found a few similar concepts to my own script, which is amusing. If I weren't purposely dealing with pastiche and homage I would be worried but it all feels fitting thus far.

I think it'll be a very helpful read.


Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:25 am
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Takoma1 wrote:

Oh, man. I haven't read Neuromancer in many, many years. I got it as a gift when I was a teenager.

Have you read Scalzi's Old Man's War?

I haven't read any sci-fi in about a year. I think the last one I read was Lord of All Things which was well-written but so bleak.

You want to tell any more about your script? I totally understand if no.


Sure. I won't go too in depth, especially as my co-worker and I are only 40 pages into it. We have an outline but we keep altering it.

The set up is that it takes place in a dystopian future: corporations own entire cities, police forces are privatized and the lower class is being systematically forced into a program that is designed to implant them with a "dream." The dreams are essentially a compulsive urge and drive to succeed at their chosen profession and become contributing members of society. The application of this is essentially turning the lower class into happy docile slaves that are cheaper and more disposable than robotics and other technology.

The plot revolves around a miner that starts to malfunction and lose sight of his "dream" and starts plotting to violently put an end to his struggle.

The influences are numerous: Total Recall, Strange Days, Soylent Green, Stray Dog, Dirty Harry, I Saw the Devil, etc. Tonally, I think it's closest to Blade Runner meets Taxo Driver, though it's far more action oriented than either of those. The goal was to practice writing a mid-budget genre flick that was familiar enough to please an audience but shifted focus on particular areas of the genre that we like that don't get that much attention.


Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:34 am
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